Ottawa storm shuts down Canadian North cargo facility

Power outage continues to halt operations three days after Saturday storm that also devastated parts of southern Ontario

A Canadian North plane is seen here parked at the Ottawa International Airport terminal. The airline’s Ottawa cargo facility has been without power following a heavy storm in the area Saturday afternoon. (File photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier

Canadian North’s Ottawa cargo operations remained partially grounded Tuesday, three days after a heavy storm left the airline’s facility without power.

On Saturday, the Ottawa area was struck with heavy winds and rain that also blasted much of southern Ontario. In Ottawa, the storm uprooted trees, knocked over power lines, and left many homes, buildings and street lights without power.

According to Canadian North’s Twitter account, power at the airline’s cargo facility has been out since Saturday. As of Tuesday morning, it had not been restored and operations have not been able to resume.

“The power remains off at our facility at the Ottawa Airport,” Canadian North tweeted Tuesday morning. “We will continue to be closed to the public until the power is restored. Further updates will be provided when more information is available.”

Mid-afternoon Tuesday, Canadian North tweeted that it had a “limited ability to accept emergency shipments in small quantities” as its cargo office remains closed.

“We have been in contact with our local and territorial authorities on the cargo situation that we are facing and we hope that the power will be restored shortly,” the airline said.

At the time of publication, Canadian North had not responded to a request for further information.

The airline also advised its passengers departing from Ottawa to arrive at the airport early.

“Please be aware that due to this weekend’s severe thunderstorm, we are urging our passengers departing Ottawa to arrive at the airport for check-in 3 hours prior to their flight due to the area power issue,” the airline tweeted Sunday.

After two days on a backup generator, regular power was restored to the Ottawa Airport’s main passenger terminal, said airport spokesperson Krista Kealey, but every building at the airport sustained some damage.

She said debris has been cleared from the runways and flights should be back on schedule. However, travellers are advised to drive carefully to the airport as many lights are still not working, and some roads continue to be closed or blocked by debris.

“There’s a lot of damage on the campus, there’s a lot of debris, so for that we ask passengers to give themselves a little bit of extra time,” Kealey said.

“Staffing shortages remain, and the storm’s exacerbated that as people take care of their own homes and personal issues.”

NOTE: This story was updated mid-afternoon Tuesday to note the latest information released by Canadian North Airlines.






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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Flyer on

    With the marriage of Canadian North and First air has everyone noticed the level of service has gone down while the prices have gone up?

    Also YK to Iqaluit via Rankin in June will be twice a week only.
    Other communities their services have been cut and also prices going way up.

    Would be nice to see a story on this as what I can remember is before the merger this was talked about and they promised it would not happen.

    • Posted by Karine Benoit on

      Canadian North’s inability to exhibit an adequate level of service was the topic of many of my aviation management courses last semester.

      Perhaps the greatest impact on Canadian North’s level of service is due to a toxic workplace environment which constantly forces the best employees to quit.

      It is not only residents of the arctic who have expressed displeasure and dismay with Canadian North.

      Incompetent, negligent, and unaccountable management at Canadian North has also resulted in a wide range of Canadian North employees posting disturbing employment reviews on numerous employer rating websites regarding their unacceptable experiences working for this dysfunctional airline.

      On Indeed’s employment review website, Canadian North employees have stated “This company is very behind and not up to industry standards”, “Management is uneducated in their positions “, “ During my time at Canadian North I did not meet anyone in management who seemed to be the least bit interested in, or capable of, supporting front-line employees” , ”Communication, planning and adoption of appropriate industry standards are entirely foreign concepts to this company”, “There is not much good planning, and often no stuff what to do, I never know why I am yelled at”.

      On Glass Door’s employment review website Canadian North employees have stated, “Horrible management not a clue what they are doing”, “There is no professional development”, “Old equipment disgusting working environment (dirty, falling apart, extremely outdated)”, “Useless management treats employees like garbage”, “Pay is terrible”, “Constant revolving door of employees”, “Staff treated poorly and communication was inadequate.” “Morale is low.”, “Very little trust in employees, no empowerment for new ideas or innovation”, “Many Managers and Directors are legacy hires with limited experience in the market outside of this one airline”, “Company does not address issues employees have or correct problems effectively”, “Managers are mainly powerless to effect change.”

      When customer expectations cannot be met because the essential employees required to complete even the most basic tasks have quit yet again, flights are cancelled, cargo is delayed and everyone suffers.

      Such dysfunctional companies can only survive when they hold a monopoly on the service they deliver.

  2. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    Unsurprisingly that the comments on an article about the Canadian North cargo facility and Ottawa’s derecho storm devolve into a tirade against the company.
    You do know that Glassdoor has pro and con comments? You must as you avoided quoting even one of the many positive comments. Hey, they aren’t perfect, but I doubt that they are as horrible as you make them out to be.
    For someone to post such a response, really unrelated to the jist of the article makes one assume that there is more to your story tha you have provided.

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